Women in Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win

Featuring stylized pictures and fact-filled biographical sketches of women athletes from around the world, this jam-packed compendium includes skaters, gymnasts, track and field stars, tennis players, golfers, skydivers, martial artists, mountaineers and many others.

Beginning with figure skater Madge Syers (born 1881) and finishing with gymnast Simone Biles (born 1997), graphic designer Rachel Ignotofsky (Women in Science) has created another great browsing book, attractively formatted on deeply colored glossy pages. Middle-graders, as well as teens and adults, may choose individual women to read about, poring over the amusing portraits (studded with fun facts) opposite the one-page profiles, all illustrated with captioned vignettes that capture the essence of the athlete's story. Other readers will read straight through, gaining insight into the discriminatory practices that prevailed until recently; the drive and ambition that fueled exceptional women to fight back; and the philanthropic and leadership roles in which female former athletes continue their careers.

Ignotofsky writes about women athletes of all types: there are profiles of para triathlete Melissa Stockwell, wounded during the Iraq War, and wheelchair racer Chantal Petitclerc, a Canadian paralyzed in an accident when she was 13. Ignotofsky also writes about the women of the 2016 Refugee Olympic Team who, without a country, competed in the Games for the first time. Well-known women like Kristi Yamaguchi, Serena Williams and Mia Hamm are represented alongside women who don't get the same recognition: Ellen MacArthur, an English woman who sailed around the world alone, and Anjali Bhagwhat, a shooter from India. An illustrated timeline, illustrations of muscle anatomy, comparisons of salaries and media coverage between male and female athletes, influential teams, short descriptions of additional women and sources round out this comprehensive volume that will excite and inspire. --Melinda Greenblatt, freelance book reviewer

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